TOUR DIARY: I Set My Friends On Fire (Dec 26th-31st 2016)
January 22nd, 2017
We’re currently on the way back home after wrapping up our first US tour of 2017! Some of the guys have already been dropped off at the airport and are on their flights back to Miami, but Connor (bassist), Chris (drummer), and I (Nate) are headed back to my parents house in Western New York where we store our van, trailer, gear, and merch when we’re not on tour.
I’d be lying if I said we weren’t a little bit worried going into this tour, but it turned out absolutely fantastic, and one of the best ones we’ve done to date! It was our first tour back after taking the fall off. Some of us went back to school, some of us got real jobs, some of us worked on the album(s), and all of us slept… a lot. It was nice to be back home and see our families every day, but we were all itching to get back on the road. This was also the first tour since we announced signing with Tragic Hero and released our newest single, ‘My Uzi Holds A Hundred Round Conscience’. None of us really knew what to expect, but this tour certainly exceeded all expectations.
Here’s our tour re-cap of memorable moments, reflections, thoughts, and everything between!
Day 1 (12/26/2016): Driving/Prep Day!
Location: Buffalo New York – Akron Ohio – Toledo Ohio – Rochester Hills Michigan
NOTE: Normally I wouldn’t write about a driving day, but this one was quite eventful and included interactions and favors from some awesome people who deserve shout outs!
For those of you that don’t know, despite ISMFOF originally being based in Miami, the only other member that lives in Miami besides Matt is our rhythm guitarist, Johny. Connor is from Marion, Indiana, Chris is from Charleston, West Virginia, and I’m from Rochester, New York. With that being said, Chris and Connor live within an easy driving distance of my house, and considering almost all of our tours start in the north (I don’t know why), they normally meet me somewhere on the way to the first show. Johny and Matt normally fly to the airport in the city of the first date (lucky them).
This tour, I had to pick them in Toledo, Ohio, which was on the way to our first show in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. This was convenient because our friend Jeff works at a music store called Dr. Dave’s Band Aid in Toledo, and always hooks us up with set ups and pre-tour fixes on our guitars when we pass through.
After leaving home around 7am, on the way to Toledo, I stopped at our publicist’s house in Akron to pick up some merch and posters for the tour. We were all pleasantly surprised when her daughter Peyton took it upon herself to make us some treats and a care package for us! Thanks Peyton!
After my short stop in Akron, I picked up Connor and Chris in Toledo and spent a few hours getting our guitars set up at Dr. Dave’s. From there, we headed to our good friends the Longtons’ house in Rochester Hills, Michigan, where they offered us to crash for the night before making the rest of the drive to Milwaukee. They made us the best ham I think any of us have ever had (thank you, Longtons!). After that, all of us crashed relatively quickly after a long day of driving and preparing ourselves for the start of the tour.
Day 2 (12/27/2016): Washington Park High School
Location: Rochester Hills Michigan – Chicago Illinois – Milwaukee Wisconsin
This was the first official day of tour! Once again, we had to get an early start as we had to pick up more merch from Chicago on our way to Milwaukee, and also had to pick up Matt, Johny, and Matt’s girlfriend (our merch girl) from O’Hare airport. We were on the road by 8am and headed to Chicago. It actually seemed like we were making pretty good time… until we hit Chicago traffic. After stopping by the Hope For The Day office in downtown Chicago to pick up some awesome new promo cards they made for us, we headed towards the airport to pick up the rest of the crew. I was only an hour late this time! Opposed to the normal 2-3 hour wait they normally have, because I’m terrible at accounting for time, haha! From there, we headed to load in!
As you can imagine from the “venue name”, we were just as shocked as anyone else when someone booked us at a high school. We were even more shocked when we found out that the staff of the High School was actually cool with it. We posted a status from our page earlier in the day saying “lol, we’re playing a high school today”, which got an absolute hilarious response from the good people of Facebook. People were trying to rag on it, saying “your band’s so pathetic you’re playing high schools now.” More like, “Fuck yeah! We get to play a high school!”
This was the first day of tour, and we really didn’t know what to expect, also considering we hadn’t played together or even been in the same room together in 5 months… but the show turned out fucking awesome! We got to play with some really cool bands, got to meet a lot of cool people, and played to about 250 kids in an auditorium. Here’s a fan video of ‘Things That Rhyme With Orange’.
Day 3 (12/28/2016): The Island
Location: Middle Of Nowhere Wisconsin – Moline Illinois – Davenport Iowa
About a month before the tour, I got a message from my friend Derek who owns 608 Studios in Wisconsin about potentially doing a taped live in-studio performance after our show in Milwaukee. He sent me a link to his work, I showed it to Matt, and we immediately agreed. After sleeping a total of 4 hours after the show the night before, we were up early AGAIN (none of us are morning people) to start the recording and filming of our in studio performance. Here’s a picture of Chris and Derek setting up.
We filmed literally all day… from 7am-5pm… luckily the promoter for the show in Moline Illinois that night was cool with us being late as fuck. This was one of the highest anticipated shows of the tour, and for good reasoning… it was a small DIY space but when we pulled up, this place was packed. Over 200 kids were packed in this tiny room. Right before we went on, we were told by the promoter that the show had officially sold out! He told us it would sell out from the beginning, but we’re sceptical of when people tell us that now considering last year we played a show that was “going to be sold out” in Italy, and it wound up doing like 25 paid… not rock! Anyway, the guy who played right before us was nintendocore and ran his whole set off of Gameboys! It was awesome, until his whole rig fell over in the middle of the set and ended his night. One of the coolest acts to have ever played with us, for sure. Kids here went nuts, we sold a lot of merch, some fans bought us Buffalo Wild Wings, it was pretty much the type of show you have in a dream. Thank you, Moline!
Day 4 (12/29/2016) Meltdown Creative Works
Location: Bloomington Illinois
Surprisingly, this was a relatively normal day! We went to Chipotle, got to see our friend James, played in a t-shirt shop… oh… and the show sold out! What a blessing!
Day 5 (12/30/2016) The Thompson House
Location: Newport Kentucky
After playing two DIY spots back-to-back and coming off of back-to-back sold out shows, we played a 900 capacity theater room in this awesome venue in Cincinnati! We always see people commenting on things with things like “come to Cinci!”, but this was our first time playing in this city in a super long time.
Matt and the rest of the band were pleased to find out that this venue was haunted, and was previously featured on some sort of ghost hunting TV show. Before the show, Connor raved about some sort of fried sandwich he got from a restaurant across the street years ago, but was disappointed to find out the place closed.
This night turned quite bizarre as some guy and the promoter got into this huge blow out fight in the front hallway while people were trying to come through the door. The promoter, who is a great friend of ours, had the patience of a thousand moms dealing with it, haha. This was followed up by four more fights which included people punching holes in walls, and people throwing bar stools. It was kind of whack. We hadn’t even gone on yet! But, the night turned out amazing, the show wound up doing 300+, we played an awesome (fight free) set, and everyone ended up being friends at the end of the night.
Day 6 (12/31/2016) Harmony Hall
Location: Terre Haute Indiana
We played a place called Harmony Hall, which was ran by the wonderful people at Couch Studios. This venue, these people, and the fans gave us the best hospitality a person could ask for. They treated us like gold, and we wound up playing right before midnight, to a room full of people that were kind enough to share their New Years with us! We also stopped ‘Sex Ed’ at 11:59 and counted down to the New Year, before playing the final breakdown. I can’t exactly prove it, but I think we played the first breakdown of 2017, haha. I don’t think anything else crazy happened that day… I think?
The full diary was written by guitarist Nate Blasdell, with all photos and other media provided by the band. You can read second part of the tour diary now, just by clicking here).
The band will be releasing their third album ‘Caterpillar Sex’ and yet-to-be-titled fourth album later this year via Tragic Hero Records.